New York City Shuts Train Service as Ida Barrels Through Region
Service on most of New York City’s subway lines remained disrupted a day after remnants of Hurricane Ida dropped record levels of rainfall in the region.
More than half the lines are partly suspended or providing extremely limited service, according to the Metropolitan Transportation Authority’s website.
Amtrak canceled all trains between Albany and New York City through Friday and said service between Washington and Boston would restart on Friday.
New Jersey Transit announced all trains were resuming except regular those service, except those serving Montclair-Boonton, Gladstone, Pascack Valley and Raritan Valley. Trains there have been suspended while crews assess damage from the storm.
The Long Island Rail Road resumed full service on most branches by Thursday afternoon, with delays on trains traveling east of Mets-Willets Point on the Port Washington Branch. Service most of the Metro-North Railroad lines remained disrupted.
The delays followed a night of intense rainfall that flooded streets and train stations and stranded thousands of travelers.
Phil Eng, president of the Long Island Rail Road, said at a news conference Thursday that the suspension of service was necessary. “It’s not a light decision to make, to shut down service, but with the visibility at near-zero, and seeing the devastation that Ida was causing elsewhere, it was the right call,” he said.
Dozens of flights were also canceled or delayed at Kennedy International Airport and La Guardia Airport, and at least 370 flights were canceled Thursday morning at Newark Liberty International Airport. The lower level of Terminal B in Newark remained closed after flooding overnight.
Janno Lieber, acting chairman of the M.T.A., said on Thursday on CNN that passengers on 15 to 20 subway cars had to be rescued in the storm. No one was injured, he said.
“The subway system in New York is not a submarine,” Mr. Lieber said. “We definitely are subject to weather and water, especially when, like last night, the surface level, street level, drainage and sewer system is overwhelmed.”
Extreme storms have battered New York’s 24-hour train service in recent years. Service was stalled for several days following damage from Sandy in 2012. And in July of this year, rains from Tropical Storm Elsa created mass flooding that also led to waist-deep water in the city’s subway stations.
At the 96th Street Subway station in Manhattan on Wednesday, Mario Villa, a cook at Tartina, waited at least two hours for a train to his home in Queens. At midnight, sitting on a stalled No. 1 train beside a co-worker, he said, “We’ll wait. We don’t get upset. We just have to wait.”
Reporting was contributed by Anne Barnard, Stacy Cowley, Andy Newman, Azi Paybarah, Christiaan Triebert and Ashley Wong.